#NightstandChronicles #Continue #EightSecondsLeftInOvertime

Here, hold my spot.

June’s gonna get away from me and then I’m going to feel the failure more, so here’s a blog post in recap, a replay of a little ditty I like to call “So This is How We Treat Each Other Now.”

The ditty with verses about how during and after the election the catfish walked off wearing a red trucker’s hat, and you miss that catfish, but maybe them dumping you like a school lunch was the final indicator that maybe you shouldn’t have spent so much time getting attached to start with.

Not great timing, though.

So the introvert spends some time alone, finding out more about humanity in fiction than in people.  I hate doing that.  But I’m alone a lot anyway, alone in passions and in person, so might as well disappear into empathy:

I miss compassion.  And if you don’t think it’s possible to learn humanity from a novel, then may I present Exhibit A, which I am reading right now:

This book, like many others, utilizes a wild animal to demonstrate kindness.  One of the characters gets it.  The rest would rather not go there.  While I don’t advocate befriending foxes in order to have companionship, I am encouraged by the fact that foxes or rabbits or squirrels or seagulls don’t use social media.

Yep, it’s a blog…online, nonetheless…and I’ll drop the subject there.

It turns out that my friends can be found in the following pools:

  • People I work with
  • People I worked with
  • People I used to write with (2)
  • People I buy stuff from

Not a great pool.  Some great people in it, but they are busy, and most don’t read. The danger is, the ones who have the most time for me are the first group and the last.

Which means I’m working too much and I’m spending too much and I have no boundaries.  Alone time, then.  With foxes.  Not so much social media.  I don’t want to see who else has walked away because I’m me, and not, instead, loved me because I’m me.

On to what I have been doing lately, as Jamaica would start.  ✨

What I Have Been Reading Lately:  The afore-mentioned fox fable, written by a lovely Brit from the Guardian.  Between this lady, Jeanette Winterson, JoJo Moyes, and JK Rowling, the UK seems to have my ears these days.  I am still working on the Chabon book, though (Moonglow)…more like lingering in it.  Today’s library visit will hopefully include a book on Islamic issues and an old Edward Abbey favorite my brother got me hooked on about six years ago.

What I Have Been Watching Lately:  Still watching Last Week Tonight, still working my way through the entire series of West Wing (again; I usually do this about once a year), still watching a LOT of baseball.  I say “watching” but most of it is the free MLB game of the day playing on my phone and I glance at it if I need a distraction from another work nightmare.  The broadcasts are a boys club of guys trying to crack each other up and sometimes they succeed in getting me to do that.  The free game is rarely the Giants, which is probably a good thing; I still bleed black and orange, but years like this means I get back to the passion of the game in general…and other players in their glory.  Also, I am hooked to the footage of the Flash and the exciting installments of his wins and losses.

I’m also still watching Real Time.  Judge away, America; while you’re at it, I also like other stuff I’m not supposed to, like Hemingway’s fiction and Woody Allen films.  The floor is yours to throw stones.  Yes, Bill Maher does offend me from time to time.  But he wakes me up, too, like Friday’s opening segment with Maajid Nawaz.  Some of my teachers in university angered me beyond measure and got me thinking in the same semester, and I’m used to be offended in otherwise productive discussions.

What I’m Watching On Film:  Last weekend was The Edge of Seventeen–dark, but I love the actors, so that one’s a keeper.  (Pro tip:  I have to dock all movies with puke scenes as 4 instead of 5 stars, so this film had a blemish in case you are also of the nature that you don’t feel you should have to pay any kind of admission price for pieces where someone pukes/pees/poops/etc.). On the rental list is The United Kingdom (David Oyelowo strikes again) and I Am Not Your Negro, which I saw at an indie theatre here in San Diego but which I loved enough to watch again.  Also, I have been rewatching, over and over, the movie Paterson with Adam Driver and Moonlight.  They soothe me.  When movies about verse-writing bus drivers and violence soothe you something’s probably not right in Denmark, but that’s my inclination these days.

What I’m Listening To:  for starters, today with the current social situation, this.  That song is a recurring theme in my life, and I take full responsibility.  Also, a band called First Aid Kit has a lovely song called “I Found A Way” that paints me over so that I can sit in a shadow and nod my head to the beat and agreement.  Also, the remastered Sgt Pepper’s, and the solo album by Dan Auerbach (don’t strain yourself; if you are trying to place that name then here’s a hint–Black Keys).  I have got a dosage of country from the latest season of The Ranch on Netflix, a wonderfully senseless show that I can also play while working to keep from getting spooked (like cattle might), and danced a little in my living room with Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places.”

I do get out, too…dancing on Friday night to a jazz band by the harbor…walks down the jacaranda lane of Kettner…fireworks…cattle drives to promote the local county fair.

Still looking for humanity, after all.  ♥️


There’s are several unofficial mottos here in the Golden State, and one of them is “Work hard, play hard.” I have been resisting this approach for ten years of living here; it seems like if you have to play just as hard as you work, then it’s kind of like, well, more work, right? But this doesn’t ring true with the culture around me, particularly in this part of the state, so I try to play along.

When something new comes up on a weeknight, I try to buy in, even though my job has turned into an exercise in anarchy management, not workforce management, lately. Last Thursday night was no exception; my sister-in-law asked me to go to the Oceanside Farmer’s Market with her. I have been to farmer’s markets in San Diego’s “Little Italy” neighborhood, in Encinitas, and in Carlsbad, and prefer the Encinitas market best for vendors and venue (the market is held at a civic and environmentally minded elementary schoolyard and holds mostly farmers, with a few artisans and about a third of the booths being prepared dishes served). The Oceanside market intrigued me for a number of reasons: the location is near the pier, which is a pretty commute in; the Oceanside community is known for being a little rough and tumble, and I imagined this as a rare night of peace and harmony; and I was trying to imagine farmers traveling to Oceanside.

Sadly, I think that the farmers were trying to imagine it, too.

To begin with, there were about four times as many people at the Oceanside market as the other markets. Parking was choked up for blocks around the four block intersection that was the market. There was also no sign of a pause in the Oceanside culture, but more of a confirmation of it; in the first half hour at the market a skateboard rider took out a side mirror of a moving Prius about four feet from me, a half a dozen people stepped on me or into me by not paying attention, and two dog owners had to pull apart a German Shepherd and a Saint Bernard that got into a fight at my right hip. That last one was the snapping point–I had been attacked at work all day long like most managers wouldn’t want to be (and I’m not a manager), and this was supposed to be my “play”? It was too hard, not an even balance, and felt like I was just working overtime. I told my sister-in-law I would meet her at the entrance to the market. She tried to get me to stay, but any argument was moot; if I could have caught a plane to Montana that moment I would have taken it.

I settled for an excellent blues band and bad samosas instead, but my good sport inclinations are running thin. I don’t see a way out of this culture, but I am doing my best to just survive in it, hold my own, looking for little filings of silver in these abusive clouds, and find…solitude in a riotous crowd.

I wonder how long I can do this…without too much lasting damage. I think I’m over trying to be a good sport or fit in.